2022 MLB Draft Profile: RHP J.R. Ritchie, Bainbridge HS (Wash.)

J.R. Ritchie

The final MLB Draft profile for 2022 is on a high-upside prep arm from the Pacific Northwest. Here is J.R. Ritchie, who also goes by Ian and is also a “junior.” Only the pertinent information here at Dodgers Digest.

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Previous Profiles

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Vitals
6’2, 185 pounds
Position: Right-handed pitcher
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
DOB: June 26, 2003

Location
Bainbridge Island, Wash.
Commitment: UCLA

Rankings
The Athletic: 21
Baseball America: 52
CBS Sports: NR
ESPN: 49
FanGraphs: NR
MLB Pipeline: 47
Perfect Game: 65
Prospects Live: 39

Slot recommended bonus (No. 29): $1,950,900

Note: All information of draft prospects compiled from Internet sources, scouting reports and videos.

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The Dodgers haven’t really looked to the Pacific Northwest for draft prospects in the Billy Gasparino era. They drafted Andrew Sopko out of Gonzaga in 2015 (7th round), Brock Carpenter out of Seattle University in 2016 (20th round), Colby Nealy and Dan Sinatro out of Washington State in 2017 (35th round) and 2019 (24th round), respectively. They also drafted Brandon White in 2018 (14th round) out of W.F. West High School in Washington, but he didn’t sign. Not exactly household names, right? Ritchie would definitely be a trend buster, if the Dodgers popped him at No. 40.

Ritchie is armed with a low-90s fastball that has topped out at 97 MPH. With a slightly projectable frame, there could be a little more sitting velocity to come. He has a hard time holding his velo later into outings, so building stamina and adding some strength will help — and that should happen when he turns pro. He has a classic starter’s repertoire — a curveball, slider and changeup to go along with his heater. His best secondary is low-80s slider that features solid tilt and depth. It’s his best pitch at missing bats. There’s some inconsistency with it, but when he snaps off a good one, it’s hard to hit. He also has an above-average low-80s changeup that features good depth and fade. His curveball is lagging behind the rest, but he’ll have a change to develop it going forward. It’s really a classic Logan White draft profile.

What helps his pitches play up is his command/control profile. He projects to have above-average command and is advanced for pitchers his age when it comes to working all four quadrants of the strike zone. Ritchie has a high three-quarters release point and has a quick arm, which makes it seem like his pitches get on top of hitters quicker than expected. He’s athletic, his delivery is clean and repeatable and he offers some of the best polish among prep pitchers in this year’s class.

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Video

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Ritchie is committed to UCLA and it’s probably going to take most or all of the Dodgers’ slot allotment to get him off that commitment. He could be a solid mid-rotation starter, with a chance to be a low-end No. 2, depending how his stuff develops at the next level. He’s an alternative to the injured college pitching crop if the Dodgers are looking for a pitcher with upside.

About Dustin Nosler

Dustin Nosler began writing about the Dodgers in July 2009 at his blog, Feelin' Kinda Blue. He co-hosted a weekly podcast with Jared Massey called Dugout Blues. He was a contributor/editor at The Hardball Times and True Blue LA. He graduated from California State University, Sacramento, with his bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in digital media. While at CSUS, he worked for the student-run newspaper The State Hornet for three years, culminating with a 1-year term as editor-in-chief. He resides in Stockton, Calif.